As Italy and France continue to clash over immigration, on Friday EU Economy Chief Olli Rehn optimistically declared the eurozone rescue mission as at an "end game." However Sunday’s general election in Finland could derail his proclamation, as many see the rise of the True Finns party as a real threat to the Portugal bailout.
Schengen a loser in France/Italy duel (PressEurop)
“France blocks trains from Italy,” writes Corriere della Sera.Behind this “miserable” diplomatic clash lies the “struggle of populist twins”, writes Bernardo Valli in La Repubblica. “Goodbye to Schengen?” asks Spain’s El País in an editorial, expressing regret that “France is blocking access to Arab immigrants and violating the agreement on freedom of movement.”
The influx of economic refugees from Tunisia has exposed deep rifts in the European Union. Italy wants help in dealing with the thousands of immigrants who have arrived since the beginning of the year, but the rest of the bloc refuses to provide it. It is just one more example of an EU struggling to stay united.
Rehn on eurozone rescue: ‘Mission Accomplished’ (Deutsche Welle)
EU economy chief Olli Rehn has declared the eurozone rescue mission accomplished. In a speech to the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based conservative think-tank on Thursday (14 April), he said: "While I cannot yet say ‘Mission accomplished’, I am increasingly confident that we are entering into the endgame of the crisis management phase."
Truly amazing (The Economist)
The cosy consensus of Finnish parliamentary politics was shattered yesterday, when the True Finns, a populist Eurosceptic party, emerged from near-obscurity to take third place in a closely run general election. The result will be carefully noted by European leaders as efforts continue to restore confidence in the euro.
Finnish election threatens Portugal rescue (EUobserver)
Finnish politics has been transformed with the soaring success of the nationalist right in Sunday’s general election. The True Finns, a staunchly anti-EU and anti-immigration party saw their support skyrocket, from five seats in the last election to 39 on the back of almost a fifth of the country’s voters.
The EU’s cyber security agency, ENISA, has issued its final report on the first Pan-European cyber security exercise for public bodies, ‘Cyber Europe 2010’. The report underlines the need for more cyber security exercises in the future, increased collaboration between the Member States and the importance of the private sector in ensuring IT security. ENISA has also released an online video clip to support the report.
European Commission President José Manuel Barroso yesterday (13 April) described as a "priority" of his mandate the re-launch of the Single Market Act, amid early signs that some of its twelve key initiatives may be hard to achieve by the target date of the end of next year.
The European Commission will unveil proposals to foster a neutral and competitive Internet on Tuesday (19 April), drawing praise from big industry for its cautiousness while consumer groups and activists lament its lack of substance.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin will have the final word in support of a 2012 presidential election candidate from the United Russia ruling party, lower house parliament speaker Boris Gryzlov said on Monday.
Arms supplies to Libya by Western countries are a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolution on the North African state, Russia’s permanent envoy to NATO said on Monday.
Meeting of the Baltic Military Committee ended (Defence Professionals)
On April 15 the two-day meeting of the Baltic Military Committee which was held in Kaunas Garrison Officers Club and chaired by Chief of Defence of Lithuania Maj Gen Arvydas Pocius. The main focus of the meeting was defence cooperation of the Baltic States. Among points discussed there was implementation of the Baltic Air Policing mission, Baltic Defence College and joint Baltic projects – BALTNET and BALTRON. The meeting Chiefs of Defence also addressed multinational training events in the Baltic Region.
EDITORIALS AND COLUMNS:
EU and NATO in a tail spin (El Pais)
The military operations in Libya have shown that NATO is no longer able to control the course of world events. And the EU is incapable of taking over for the same reasons: faultlines among its members, and American reluctance to get involved. (Full Text in Spanish)
A country unraveling (To Vima)
With new austerity measures announced against a backdrop of persistent rumours of debt restructuring and national bankruptcy, a Greek columnist worries that the choices being offered to Greece are being accompanied by the degeneration of the state.